"Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."
"THANK YOU!" was my response when I heard that. There were three of us in the room. Piss/rain was the second person's response to the bullshit the third was laying down over being challenged about the rotten thing he'd done. After a lifetime of dealing with con men, hustlers, liars, sociopaths, manipulators, addicts, and thieves, you might say I've had more than my fair share of being lied to and people trying to manipulate me to their advantage. So that saying came both as breath of fresh air and great way to communicate, "I know what you're doing, so knock it off."
While I've encountered all kinds of strategies it should be noted, there's a rising tide of "You have to accept someone because of a 'label' and if you don't you're a horrible person."
Ummm. No. No I don't.
Not only because I'm not in the habit of ignoring someone's bad behavior (especially when it's aimed at me), but trying to tell me— that to be a good person— I have to put up with piss/rain situation, doesn't go over too well with me. I especially mean this when such demands are backed up with implied or stated threats of what will happen if I don't drink that particular Kool-Aid. Why do I say that? Too many times I've seen the 'logic' of "If you don't agree with my grandiose claims then you're a bad person" used as a justification to attack. An attack that comes not just with a strong a sense of self-righteousness, but complete moral superiority. (Think the Blues Brothers but instead of saying "We're on a mission from God," saying "We're on a mission from identity politics.")
With that in mind, I'd like to present the meme that triggered the very long analysis that follows. An analysis that shows why a label does not equal a free pass. (No matter how hard someone tries to argue that it does.)
Other people didn't see it that way.
I was one of them. I didn't just see it as a "Oh that's just rain on your back" strategy, but also a deliberate propaganda piece. Something that exploited the idea of "live and let live" to the detriment of those who believe it and gave advantage to those with predatory agendas through exploiting the "live and let live" idea. Most of all I saw it as a way to shut down discussion, not just about various subjects, but also forced silence about problems, misconduct and other issues that cause negative reactions.
A very long and intense argument ensued between people who saw it as "a noble call for tolerance and compassion" and those who saw it as an attack strategy disguised as 'a noble call for tolerance and compassion.' After a while it became clear who on the "noble call for tolerance and compassion" side actually felt that way and who was trying to protect a propaganda strategy hiding behind 'a noble call for tolerance and compassion.'
You should know that while I do agree with the ideas of tolerance, live and let live, and not labeling people as an excuse for misconduct—what sets me apart from most is— I consider that to be a two-way street.
Putting that into the vernacular of my youth, "If you want tolerance, respect, and non-aggression don't fuck other people over."
While the street version is way shorter, what follows is break down of all the ways (current) calls for tolerance and compassion are being weaponized to not only pressure you into not standing up for yourself, but to actively screw you over— because you are compassionate.
Twelve, it has been argued that because it wasn't explicit in naming who it was aimed at, those who disagreed were reading too much into it. I'll point you back to point eleven before stating there is no chance it wasn't deliberate. One narrative-phrase maybe. Two is shaky. But when you get that many —up to and including the Rainbow Flag border—claiming it was the reader's problem is pissing down someone's back and telling them it's raining.
When you look at all the behaviors that cause conflict and negative reactions, it is usually a cornucopia. Lots and lots of little —and often not so little— things. That's why it's such a red flag when someone tries to claim there's a monolithic causation behind what's happening.
Uhhh no. Not only not buying it, but quit trying to piss down my back and tell me it's raining.